This web site is dedicated to the teaching and philosophy of our teacher and
Chief Instructor, Sensei Hidemi Tamayose, 9th Dan, Hanshi,
President of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan.
Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan Summer Camp
Kado Martial Arts, Parksville, B.C., Canada
August 5th & 6th 2006
In the dojo his eyes are everywhere
Sensei Hidemi Tamayose, 9th Dan, Hanshi,
President of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan
It has been said, that in a forest without any trees there is no place to hide. That is especially true when you are on the dojo floor training with a group, or performing an individual kata in front of Sensei Tamayose. He is soft spoken, and he has a gentle touch, yet his meaning is always clear. Truly dedicated to the art of kobudo his eyes are everywhere, and nothing escapes his gaze.
Kado Martial Arts
Sensei Martin Nicholson and Sempai Colleen Nicholson are the owners and the backbone of Kado Martial Arts in Parksville, B.C. where they teach both Ryukyu Kobudo and Goju-Ryu karate. Seen here before the planned 10:00 am start they watch closely as a number of their students are taking advantage of the fact that the dojo was not yet crowded, allowing them to get in some extra practice prior to Sensei Tamayose's arrival. Fifteen minutes later, however, the dojo was full to over flowing and it rang with the sound sai, bo, and tunfa. Sensei Tamayose arrived at 9:45 am and at 10:00 am precisely "line up" was called then followed by the traditional bows.
Excellent focus
Bo basics are always was the first order of the day at any Tesshinkan camp. Here Cathy Quinn, who also holds the rank of San Dan (FSKA) in Shotokan Karate, remains fully focused during the morning bo basics. These drills are comprised of a series of ten bo basics, done ten times each, on both the left and the right side. Since these basic bo movements are found throughout all of the bo katas we were about to practice, accuracy was essential at all times. Forty-five minutes later the bo basics had been completed, everyone was well warmed up, and we moved on to the bo katas, Shushi No Kun Sho, for the kyu belts, and Sakagawa No Kun Sho, for the Yudansha.
Attention to detail
Under Sensei Tamayose's watchful gaze students are constantly striving to improve. As alway each aspect of their bo basics and their bo katas are constantly being analyzed, adjusted, and corrected when needed. Here Sensei Tamayose explains to Cathy Quinn exactly how things should be, and why.
Ni Dan in his sights
Sempai Mac Newton (Shodan) knows the pressure is on and as Sensei Tamayose keeps a very close eye on his technique as Mac goes through the bo kata, Sakagawa No Kun Sho, that he needs for his upcoming Ni Dan grading on Sunday evening. Performing any kata while under Sensei Tamayose's close scrutiny certainly makes you do your best, as I am sure Sempai Mac will attest to.
Katharine is all business
It does not matter what she is working at, karate basics, kata, kumite, or kobudo, one thing is certain, Katharine Kaye always comes prepared to work hard. In addition to her interest in kobudo Sempai Katharine holds the rank of Ni Dan (FSKA) in Shotokan Karate, and at the end of this years camp Katharine successfully graded attaining the kobudo rank of Ni Kyu.
Sensei makes a point
Larry Gilbert gets a few comments from Sensei Tamayose during the morning session on the bo kata, Shushi No Kun Sho. A hard worker whenever he steps onto the dojo floor, Larry always sets a great example for other students to follow. This year Larry successfully graded for the rank of San kyu and I suspect that by the end of the next camp he too will be grading for the rank of Sho Dan and the title of Sempai.
Bo basic number four
Both Colleen and I have plenty of company as Sensei Tamayose takes the group through all ten bo basics during the afternoon session. Done correctly this series of one hundred movements will take the average student approximately thirty to forty minutes to complete and it certainly makes for a great warm up prior to doing any bo kata.
Well done Eddie - not bad for 72 years young
Eddie Lettinga is the type of person who never quits. Born in 1935 Eddie first approached Sensei Nicholson one day at the local post office and asked if he could join the dojo. That was many months ago and today Eddie is a 6th kyu in Goju-Ryu karate and due to grade again very soon. Kobudo has also become a an important part of Eddie's life. As you can see by these two photographs, whether working in front of the class, or working just as hard as the Dan ranks, Eddie's attitude and his approach to training helps brings out the best in all of us. At the end of this years summer camp Eddie successfully graded for the rank of San kyu and Sensei Tamayose made a special point of speaking to everyone about his admiration for Eddie's dedication at the conclusion of the grading.
Working with the senior belts
Sensei Tamayose spent an equal amount of time working with all ranks during the camp. Here Sensei works with the senior belts taking them through the bo kata, Sakagawa No Kun Sho. As always Sensei Tamayose leads by example and the senior students made every effort to keep pace, while at the same time still maintaining a high standard of technique.
What the bo basics are all about
Sensei Tamayose and Sensei Nicholson are seen here demonstrating the one of the purposes for bo basic number ten. The block takes place on the thrust, which is then followed but a jodan strike to the top of the attacker's head. This, and other clear demonstrations of the bo basics in action, helped many of the students throughout the weekend to clearly visualize what the basic techniques were for when it came time to practice on their own.
Near the end of the kata
Here Marilyn Norman, who holds the rank of San Dan (FSKA) in Shotokan Karate, is watched very carefully by Sensei Tamayose as Marilyn draws near to the end of the bo kata, Shushi No Kun Sho. This is the first bo kata taught in the Tesshinkan syllabus and it contains many of the movements found in the ten bo basics. Which is precisely why the bo basics are so thoroughly taught to every student before they proceed to learning a kata. Marilyn also took the opportunity to grade at the end of this years camp successfully attaining the rank of San Kyu.
Waiting their turn
Sempai's Rainer Todsen and Sempai Jim Luck, both Ni Dan's, are seen here waiting for their turn on the dojo floor. Sempai Rainer, seen on the right in this photograph, is to be congratulated for passing his grading on the last day of camp and being promoted to the rank of San Dan. I had the pleasure of Sempai Rainer's company on Friday afternoon when we both enjoyed a private three hour lesson with Sensei Tamayose.
Two Ni Dan's hard at work
Sempai's Rainer Todsen and Sempai Jim Luck, are seen here being closely evaluated by Sensei Tamayose as they go through the second bo kata taught in the Tesshinkan syllabus, Sakagawa No Kun Sho. Both of these students have trained with Sensei Nicholson for many years and both Sempai Rainer and Sempai Jim also hold Dan rank in Goju-Ryu Karate.
Maezato No Tekko
This tekko kata also occupied a good deal of our training time each day. Throughout the weekend each student received some one on one time with Sensei Tamayose, as he wanted to be sure that all aspects of the kata were fully understood by everyone, regardless of rank. Here Jennifer has the benefit of his methodical way of teaching, and his hands on approach. Sensei always made sure that each nuance of the kata was fully appreciated by one and all.
Exact placement is so important
The proper placement of your feet and hands is critical to understanding the proper what, when, and why, of any movement in any kata. Here Sensei Tamayose makes a sure that Chelsea and everyone else is in proper form before moving on to the next technique. A very self motivated and dedicated student, Chelsea passed her brown belt exam on the last day of camp. Congratulations Chelsea it was well earned.
Age is not usually a factor
One of the great advantages of kobudo is that you can start at almost any age. While health and physical fitness can obviously be a factor for some people, age alone should not be. Here we see Sensei Tamayose making some minor adjustments in Mrs. Darcy's tekko kata. As one Sensei Nicholson's dedicated students Mrs. Darcy trains in both kobudo and karate on a regular basis.
Grading on Sunday
All of the students in this photograph graded on Sunday evening and I am pleased to say that each one of them passed. After more than ten hours of hard training during this weekend course everyone looked very sharp during the grading. I think when it was all said and done Sensei Tamayose was pleased by everyone's effort.
Cathy leads the way
Maezato No Tekko always requires a great deal of concentration and Sempai Cathy Quinn, who holds the rank of San Dan (FSKA) in Shotokan Karate, always leads by example. As a new member of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan, Cathy will be eligible to grade in two years time and I know she is already looking forward to it with great anticipation.
The reason why
Colleen Nicholson watches carefully as Sensei Tamayose explains the purpose for a particular movement. Sheya also pays close attention. Both students successfully graded on the final day of camp and both students were promoted to the rank of Sho Dan.
Good form
In addition to her new rank in the Tesshinkan, Colleen also holds the rank of Ni Dan in Goju-Ryu Karate. In both kobudo and karate Sempai Colleen is known for her attention to detail and her excellent technique.
His first camp
Sensei Tamayose always made sure that even the newest student in the dojo got plenty of one on one attention, as Graham Arts found out over the weekend on more than one occasion. Graham joined our Shotokan dojo last year and he has been progressing very well. He too came away from his first camp all smiles and looking forward to next year, just like everyone else.
Leading by example
Throughout the weekend there were many occasions when Sensei Tamayose personally lead the students through the various basics and katas, affording everyone an opportunity to see exactly how the katas and the techniques should be done. All of us admired Sensei's great skill and his obvious dedication to the art of kobudo.
Chikin Shitahaku No Sai
Chikin Shitahaku No Sai was next, and once again constant repetition was the order of the day. I for one lost count of the number of times we did this particular kata over the weekend. Both long and complex, Chikin Shitahaku No Sai is one of several katas that are required of any student wishing to grade for the rank of Sho Dan. Sensei Tamayose's gaze was exacting and he always made sure that each student's posture, stance, and hand positions were satisfactory to him before we were allowed to go on to the next movement. Over the course of the weekend his expectations rose considerably and all of the students made ever effort to try and meet his very high standards.
Waiting their turn
The Dan ranks and those senior kyu ranks who were grading for Sho Dan this year received particularly close scrutiny from Sensei Tamayose when it was their turn on the dojo floor. Here Sempai Rainer Todsen, Sempai Mac Newton, Sheya Eno, Colleen Nicholson, and Sempai Jim Luck wait their turn. This year Sempai Rainer was promoted to San Dan, Sempai Mac was promoted to Ni Dan, and Sheya and Colleen were both promoted to Sho Dan. My congratulations to one and all.
Sensei and Sempai
During a short break in the afternoon training session Sensei Martin Nicholson took Katharine Kaye through the finer points of the sai kata, Chikin Shitahaku No Sai. In addition to her interest in kobudo Katharine holds the rank of Ni Dan (FSKA) in Shotokan Karate and she, along with about a dozen other students, took the opportunity to grade at the end of camp, at which time Katharine successfully attained the rank of Ni Kyu which I am sure will only deepen her interest in kobudo.
Akamine No Nunchaku
Marilyn Norman is seen here going through the first nunchaku kata that Sensei Tamayose teaches called, Maezato No Nunchaku. This kata is required to be performed by any student seeking to grade for first, second, or third kyu (brown belt).
No place to hide
Colleen Nicholson and Sheya Eno are seen here being watched very closely by Sensei Tamayose as they go through the nunchaku kata, Akamine No Nunchaku. This is one of several katas that are required when grading for the rank of Sho Dan and it is the second nunchaku kata that is taught in the Tesshinkan syllabus.
One on one with Sensei Tamayose
At this years camp Sempai Rainer took the opportunity to grade for the rank of San Dan. Part of his grading requirements included the tunfa kata, Hama Higa No Tunfa. This is a very complex kata requiring excellent hand and body co-ordination and a very clear understanding of where the blocks should be, and just as importantly, why they need to be there. Sempai Rainer is a dedicated student and he came away from his lesson with Sensei Tamayose with a much greater appreciation of all that this kata entails.
Hung out to dry
The yard around the dojo was dotted several times a day with fence posts sprouting gis everywhere you looked. Class each day went from 10:00 am - noon, then from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, then from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, by which time there was definitely not a dry spot left on any gi in sight. At the end of each session the gis were placed in the sun while we retreated to the comfort of the shade for a lot of water, a bite to eat, a lot more water, and some much needed rest.
On the second day of camp class began once again at 10:00 am and followed the same pattern as the day before. Bo basics, followed by kata, followed by corrections, followed by group kata, followed by more corrections, followed by more kata, followed by more corrections, followed by - you guessed it - a lot more kata.
Three very tired friends
By the end of the camp we were all very tired, very sore, and extremely happy that we has once again taken the time to train with, and learn from, one of the true masters of Okinawan kobudo, Sensei Hidemi Tamayose.
Katharine and Marilyn have both been training with me for close to twelve years. Their desire to learn is also matched by their willingness to take what they have learnt back to the dojo and to share it with everyone else. Over the years we three and the members of our respective families have also become good friends, and for the three of us next year can't come soon enough.
Old friends
My good friend Sensei Martin Nicholson is seen here with me at the end of another wonderful three days of training at his dojo. Martin and I have been friends since we met at a dojo more than twenty-five years ago and it is always a pleasure to share the same floor with him. My three hour private lesson with Sensei Tamayose on Friday afternoon is a memory that neither my body nor my mind will soon forget, and as always I enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you Martin.
The grading Sunday evening
As usual the kyu grading and the Dan grading were set to start on Sunday evening at 6:00 pm. This year twelve students took the opportunity to step onto the dojo floor and demonstrate their skill to Sensei Tamayose and Sensei Nicholson. I am pleased to say that all of the students did very well, and each one of them was rewarded for their efforts with a passing grade.
A few final words
Sensei Tamayose and I share a private moment after he awarded me my rank on Sunday evening. His kind comments to each of the students throughout the course of the weekend was a clear indication of his strong desire to see each of his students do their very best. His quiet demeanour, his positive attitude, and his genuine sincerity, make him a teacher you are truly proud to follow.
Certificate of rank
Obtaining the rank of Ni Kyu in Okinawan Kobudo from Sensei Tamayose was indeed one of the more memorable experiences in my twenty-nine years as a martial artist. I hold the rank of Go Dan in Shotokan Karate (FSKA) from Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, Chief Instructor of the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association, and like Shihan Funakoshi, Sensei Tamayose's very high standards, and his ability to draw out the best in you makes training under his watchful eye a both a privilege, and challenge.
I am very pleased to be a member of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan and to have the opportunity to study this original Okinawan martial art under the guidance of such an excellent kobudo teacher as Sensei Tamayose. Where ever he travels Sensei Tamayose brings to those students fortunate enough to train with him, a wealth of knowledge, and his undying passion for all that the art of Okinawan kobudo has to offer. He is an unsurpassed teacher with the rare gift of being able to truly convey his message, and the art of kobudo, to all of the students he comes in contact with, regardless of their rank or their personal experience.
With our teacher - thank you Sensei Tamayose
At the end of what can only be described as another wonderful weekend of camaraderie, and very wet gi's, the five of us, Graham, myself, Cathy, Katharine, and Marilyn, took the opportunity to pose for a photograph with Sensei Tamayose.
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the five of us to once again thank Sensei Tamayose for his time, and for his knowledge, we are extremely grateful for both, and all of us look forward to seeing him here again next year.
Part the clouds - see the way.
"The objective of kobudo is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay

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